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In the Old Testament, Adam brought about the Fall of Mankind with the cooperation of Eve. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ, the God-Man, brought about our Redemption with the cooperation of the Virgin Mary. Eve, our first parent, was tempted by a fallen angel to disobey the command of God, and she subsequently led Adam into sin. In the New Testament, another angel, the Angel Gabriel, announced the will of God to the Virgin Mary and she, unlike Eve, humbly submitted.
In the Gospel of St. Luke, we read: “The Angel Gabriel was sent to a Virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the House of David; and the Virgin’s name was Mary” (Luke 1:27). How did the Angel Gabriel then address her? Luke continues: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women!” “Fear not, Mary, for thou has found grace with God. Behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a Son, and you shall call His Name, Jesus... The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you. And therefore, also the Holy One which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Who can deny the dignity of the Virgin Mary — chosen to be the Mother of Jesus Christ? The Angel Gabriel, who was sent by God Himself, honored and praised her.
During the visitation to Elizabeth, her cousin, the Virgin Mary responded to her cousin’s praise of her by the prayer so full of humility and of praise to God: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord... because He has see the humility of His handmaid; for behold, from now on all generations shall call me blessed. For He has done great things to me.”
Catholics do not, as “non-Catholics” falsely believe, worship the Blessed Virgin Mary. We honor her who was so intimately connected with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Yes, there is only one Mediator with the Father — Jesus Christ. Only the God-Man Jesus Christ could have redeemed mankind. Nevertheless, we pray to Mary that she may intercede for us with her Divine Son. How often we request the assistance of prayers from our fellow men — how much more powerful are the prayers and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary! In the Old Testament, we read how Moses prayed with arms outstretched and interceded with God to procure the victory of the Israelites over their enemies in a crucial battle. As long as he prayed, they were victorious. When he ceased his prayers, the Israelites began to lose. Because of this, it was necessary for two men to hold up Moses’ arms in prayer until the battle was won. Also, we read in the Old Testament how Josue prayed to God to have the day prolonged in order to win another crucial battle. If Moses and Josue could have such intercession before God, how much more powerful are the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
The Gospel of St. John relates significant account which relate to Mary — the wedding feast of: “There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the Mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what is it to Me my hour is not yet come.’ His Mother said to the waiters, ‘Whatsoever He shall say to you do’” (John 2:1-5). Jesus Christ then proceeded to work His first public miracle at His Mother’s request. Everything related in the Gospels is inspired by God, and there is a reason for it. Does not this narrative of the wedding feast manifest the intercessory power of Mary with Jesus Christ, her Divine Son?
In conclusion, let us, as members of Christ’s one, true Church, fulfill the prophecy made by the Blessed Virgin Mary during her visit to St. Elizabeth — “Behold all generations shall call me blessed.”
Padre Leon Rev. Marcos Leon-Angulo, M.Th., M. Div. Diocesan Chaplain to the Native American Catholic Community Diocese of Raleigh